Hunting For a Trainer?

Ok, so now you are considering a trainer but don’t know what to look for. Sure, the huge meat head or cheerleader looks like they know their stuff, but do they?

First, is your trainer willing to answer questions? To believe everything without question is indoctrination. Your trainer should be able to answer your questions about health and fitness. No trainer knows everything, but they should be willing to research the answers to your questions.

Does your trainer make huge promises? No person is the same, so to be told you will lose a bunch of weight just like a person you saw in TV is likely a false promise. Also, if they tell you that you will be ripped like Arnold, I ask you this. Are you Arnold? No one will build the same.

Does your trainer have insecurities? If your trainer tries to dissuade you from trying new things this could be due to personal insecurities. If you want to try out that Spin, Yoga, or Zumba class, then do it. It is your fitness journey and you should do things you enjoy.

Does your trainer listen to your goals? If your goal is to lean out and lose weight did they build the right program for you? There are certain rep ranges and weight percentages to take into account for each goal. Also, if your goal is to not lift weights at all, then your trainer should be listening to this.

Finally, is your trainer certified or just a gym rat? Sure that guy that can lift 200lbs is ripped, but can he teach you to do that safely? I highly suggest researching your potential trainer. Most certifications can be looked up online for free. After all, you are putting your fitness health and goals in their hands.

Don’t be afraid to get a trainer, just make sure they are right for you.

Have questions? Contact us.

 

Earning My PCC

So after a lot of uncertainty, I decided to bite the bullet and attend the first Boston PCC (Progressive Calisthenics Certification). I will admit I had no idea what to expect out of this 3 day, 8 hour a day workshop. First day in Boston I, of course, had to see the sites, because, hell! There is a ton of history here!

Day One of the PCC was a lot of push-ups and pull-up progressions showing how to advance from a beginner to advanced. I even managed to get my first one arm pull-up! After lunch we moved on to human flag progressions. Yup, you read that correctly. So, it was amazing to see how strong everyone was through all those progressions. We finished the day working on the mighty muscle-up. Yeah, I have been doing them for a while, but they showed me how to make them even more challenging by only using my wrists and going slow. ​

​Even better was seeing all the other people getting their first one! That night I got to go out with some friends from high school that I have not seen in almost 19 years. We had a blast! It was like nothing had changed.

Day Two was all legs and core work. There were a ton of first time moves for everyone! Some getting their first pistol or shrimp squats some getting their first front or back levers, for me, I got my first Meathook and Reverse Grip Back Lever! Even finished the day with a bad ass photo with Al and Danny Kavadlo.


Day Three I got to have breakfast with Danny and Al and just shoot the breeze. In class we went a bit lighter focusing on skills like hand balancing. I was impressed to see everyone’s skill level. They were some truly impressive people! After lunch the pressure was on… we had to test for our certification. When my name came up, my heart jumped up into my throat despite practicing this test over and over for the last few months. But I nailed it! After all was said and done, there were hugs all around. We were all like family in the end. I truly hope to stay in touch with my new calisthenics family.


Now, as the only Dragon Door certified calisthenics trainer in Michigan, I can’t wait to pass on all I have learned this long vacation!

See my personal journey.

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Internal Martial Arts & Calisthenics

Like a lot of people, I started martial arts training in an external martial art such as Muay Thai, and weight training worked great for excelling in that art. I got stronger and hit harder. Now, there is nothing wrong with external martial arts, I respect each art, but they were not for me and I didn’t realize this until my 20’s.

After a small hiatus, and watching late night Kung Fu movies, I gave Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) a try. The art fascinated me with its flowing movement and hidden power. I had to reverse all of my study, and focus on my internal self. I picked up on the weight training and noticed the weight training actually hindered my movement. In the last few years I dropped the weights and went to calisthenics. My movement, quickly improved. But I didn’t really pay attention to the change.

Recently, I had the opportunity to study with Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, a Grand Master in Yang Style Taijiquan, and after his lectures and expectations of movements, it clicked! Calisthenics is extremely beneficial to internal martial arts. Let’s look at the meaning of calisthenics, exercise to achieve fitness and grace of movement. In TaijiquanTaijiquan you need to have every part of your body to flow as one, calisthenics teaches full body control. This is a beautiful match to improve your internal martial art performance. I would never say you should give up your weight training if that is what you love to do, just make sure your training matches what your current goal is.

 

See my story here.

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How much time do I need to work out?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been getting the same question over and over. “How much time do I need to devote to working out?” There really isn’t a perfect answer to this, but here is my view. You honestly do not need to spend hours in the gym working out. The real trick is to workout smart. In a lot of cases, you can get away with 30 to 45 minute long workouts as long as long as you avoid the common distractions in the gym such as TVs and constantly texting or making calls between sets, and in some “fitness facilities”, the snack table. No, I’m not saying that you won’t get a lot out of working out for an hour; heck, I like working out for at least an hour. But in most cases, the time is not necessarily available. Another thing you can do to help speed up your workout is focus on multiple muscle groups in one exercise. You don’t have to stick with the standard three sets of 10 for bench press three sets of 10 for lat pulldowns you can work more than one muscle at a time. The most important of all focus on your goals. Every time you enter your gym, playground or wherever else you workout, go in with a plan and if that plan is torn apart by someone using the equipment, then you need have a back up plan. There of been plenty of times when I went in planning to work one set of muscles and was thrown off by equipment I regularly use for that so I switch gears and move to another muscle group. And never forget, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re not sure how to best maximize your time in the gym. It takes some getting used to and there are plenty of people that can help you get on the right path.

Have questions? Contact me.

See my fitness journey.

What Training Program Is Best For Me?

We have all heard it in commercials and seen it on fliers, “Best workout program ever made”, and this gets said about every program advertised. This is rather misleading, because let’s face it, if it was the best, then it would be the only one. So let’s look at what is the best for you.

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First off, does it fit your time? Not everyone has an extra hour or so to spare for a workout, but we do have some free time for exercise. The fitness professional should have this in mind when making your fitness routine.

Next, does it require extra equipment or lots of room? Some pre-made programs require extra equipment or lots of space to move. In some cases, not all, you will need a gym membership to work with a fitness trainer. (Just a reminder that Quest Fitness has no membership fees.) If lots of room and equipment is needed, then are you willing to move furniture around or buy equipment?img_6198

Most important of all, is it something you can see yourself enjoying? Remember, fitness is a long journey, and it will take time. Not everyone likes cardio, weight training or calisthenics, it needs to be a workout based around your goals and needs. If you are not sure, then consult with a fitness professional, they can show you all the options. Another thing, don’t focus on how you feel during the workout, focus on how you feel after. The endorphin rush and the feeling of accomplishment.

Have questions? Contact me.
My fitness journey.

Quest Fitness Challenge 

This year, at Quest Fitness, we will be holding a fitness challenge! For a $5 admission you can enter! (Quest Fitness is not keeping any of it.) Whoever has the best over all improvement wins the cash pot! There are 4 exercises that you will be judged on.

Squats

Push-ups

Knee raises

Pull-ups

Squats must be performed with a minimum depth of top of the thighs parallel to the floor and a full lock out at the top of each rep. Arms may be raised in front, crossed, or placed on top of the head. Heels must stay flat the entire time.

Push-up depth must reach a minimum of 90 degrees of flexion as measured along the outside of the elbow and a full lockout must be achieved at the top of every rep. A straight body position must be maintained throughout the entire range of motion. No sticking your butt into the air or leaving your hips down on the ground.

Hanging knee raises must be performed with the knees being raised above waist level and a full extension of the legs at the bottom of every rep. Swinging shall be kept to a minimum. Arms must remain straight the entire set.

Pull-ups may be performed with an overhand or underhand grip. The chin must clear the bar at the top of each rep and a full extension must be reached at the bottom. Kipping will not be allowed. Chin-ups will be allowed, but you must do the same style of pull-ups both at the beginning and end of the challenge. If you choose to use a assistance band, you must use the same one through the entire competition.

Rests may be taken in between exercises, but each exercise must be completed in a single set. You may pause briefly between reps as long as the position is held (i.e. top of push-up position, bottom of pull-up, etc.)

The entry date starts 1/2 and entry closes 1/9. You will be allowed to take a progress test the week of 1/30, but it is not mandatory. The final test will start on 2/27 and officially end 3/6. Entry will be allowed via Skype or FaceTime. But the $5 must be paid at entry.

Good luck, and may the gains be with you!

Have questions? Contact me.

 

First Full Year

The first year at Quest Fitness has been great! But none of this could have been done without some amazing people helping out! 

First off, I want to thank my supportive wife. Without her help and support this would have never started. She is the one that convinced me to become a trainer.

My friend, Vanessa, was an amazing help! She built the web page and helped to optimize everything about it! She is a huge help to get everything running.

Gerald also deserves a big shout out! He takes time out of his crazy schedule to help me edit all of the articles. He is also one of my Kung Fu brothers, and an instructor in training.

Robert and Marita have also been huge helps in promoting and helping with installing a lot of the hardware in the gym. Robert is working really hard to become a Taijiquan instructor himself!

Finally, I could not have done it without all the great people I train! You all are like family, super supportive and always come in ready to work hard! You are all amazing, and I’m proud of how hard you work to hit those goals!

My fitness journey.

Have questions? Contact me.

Breaking Through Plateaus

We all face them at some point in our fitness journey, but there are ways past them. I’ll admit, I have even faced them in both my workouts and my martial art training.
When it comes to weight loss and diet, the focus needs to be on calories in versus calories out. If you have been hitting the workout hard, then you may possibly have to increase your calories and possibly your carb intake just to kick the weight loss back up. Remember, as your metabolism grows so, too, will your fuel needs.

Now for the training plateau. First thing I always suggest is to change your routine. As I have mentioned in the past, your body will adapt to the work within 4-6 weeks. So change will be important. This holds true for weight loss as well as muscle building. Now this doesn’t mean you have to just up the weight or reps. You should try a complete phase change

To go into these subjects further, I would strongly suggest talking to a trainer. They can help you blast past the road blocks and keep you challenged. Remember, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

See my fitness journey.

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New Experiences

I’m sure I have explained it before and I’m sure I will say it again, but I hate to travel. So, I’m sure you could understand my hesitation when I had to make a trip to Manhattan for my latest certification, Strength Calisthenics Certification (SCC). Now that I did it, I’m so happy I did! Thank you to my wife, Elle, to convincing me to do it. 
I got to see and visit places I only ever saw in movies, met new people, and got to hang out with the calisthenics legend Danny Kavadlo.


At the SCC I picked up so many epic calisthenic techniques to improve my game and the performance of my clients. Even I got a little sore! Worth it! At one point I got called on to demonstrate muscle ups, and even got referred to by one of the SCC coaches as having beastly pull-ups. I want to say that the entire class formed a bit of a brother and sisterhood. I even found another Kung Fu brother.


Over all what I’m trying to say is don’t pass on the possibility for new experiences, whether it be in fitness or any other aspect of your life. If you do, then you will miss an entire world of wonder. If I would have passed on this, I would have missed out one the best training experience I ever had.

See my fitness journey.

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What Is the best way to lose fat?

The best answer is, there isn’t a best way. I will say that everyone’s body will react differently to diet and exercise programs. The best first step is to find an exercise that you enjoy doing because weight loss can be a long, but rewarding, journey.

Whatever exercise activities you do choose, try to make sure they incorporate multiple muscle groups. The more muscle groups you work the more calories you will be burning. So, doing a squat to over head press would be more beneficial than just doing a chest press because more muscles are activating. Also, consider activities like HIIT or Tabata training over just running. You will work a lot more muscles in a shorter amount of time. If motivation to exercise is an issue, then try group classes like boot camps. You will work at your own pace but with your peers there to help motivate you. 

Now onto diet. First off, get rid of the term diet, look at it as a lifestyle change. Want to feel good? Then eat good. No, this does not mean you will have to give up all the foods you love. You just have to take it all in moderation. I suggest to stay away from fad diet programs. In most cases (not all) they are a very very short term solution. As your body changes so too will the meal plans. This is important! You may start off with high protein and lower carb and fat, but as you become more physically fit you may need more fuel like carbs. Remember protein is not an energy source, it does help repair muscle, but carbs and fats are what give you energy. I would highly suggest talking to a nutritionist for a meal plan to fit your needs or if you just need the basic such as “What amount of protein, carbs, and fats do I need?” talk to a trainer or check out apps like My Fitness Pal. Also, don’t worry if you slip up from time to time, no one is perfect. Even I have a little cheat meal from time to time.

Most important, remember to do this for you and no one else. Life will happen and it will create obstacles. Use those obstacles to make you stronger. This is the first step to a newer fitter you!

See my fitness journey.
Have questions? Contact me.